Sebastian Lletget has been cleared to play this weekend in the season opener for the LA Galaxy after the US Men’s National Team player called a teammate a gay slur.
A Galaxy spokesperson told Outsports, “Per MLS, he is cleared to play this weekend.”
Outsports has reached out to a Major League Soccer spokesperson but has not received a response.
A week ago, Lletget called teammate Julian Araujo a gay slur in Spanish, recorded it, and posted it to Instagram. When Outsports contacted the Galaxy about the incident, Lletget deleted the Instagram story and call Outsports to apologize. He later released an apology.
The Galaxy have repeatedly declined to publicly explain how it is handling the matter, saying the club is handling it “internally.”
MLS has said it has a “zero tolerance policy” toward gay slurs. The league and various clubs have taken action against players and fans, issuing suspensions and removing people from matches.
MLS can no longer make any claim that it has a “zero tolerance policy” against gay slurs. When it comes to “locker room talk,” this early indication is that the league is open to dismissing it, or at least treating it less than other slurs.
It’s unfortunate, given that this “locker room talk” is exactly what keeps gay and bi athletes in the closet. Being called a gay slur by an opponent has nowhere near the impact on a closeted gay athlete as hearing it from a teammate.
The Galaxy play at Inter Miami on Sunday.